Immune System - Your Body's Natural Defense Army
Your body's immune system is your natural defense system. And it does not reside in just one part of your body. It is a collection of molecules, organs, tissues, and cells that work relentlessly to protect your body. And, each element plays a crucial role in the way your immune system works as a whole. Your immune system helps prevent a host of diseases and infections, including the most dreaded cancer.
Your immune system can easily recognize an injury or infection that happens to your body. And, as an immediate action, it will produce an immune response. The goal of the immune response is to restore your body's normal functioning. However, if your body's immune system is weak, it may not be able to work in an efficient manner to protect and preserve your body from serious infections, illnesses, and injuries. Here are the 10 vital signs explained by the experts at REAN Foundation. Catch the signs and act quickly!
10 Vital Signs You Need to Watch Out For
If you experience any of the following symptoms, then that means your immune system is not working as it is supposed to be:
Sniffling and Sneezing Often
Almost all of us get a cold once in a while, and it is perfectly normal. Usually, people bounce back to their normal routine within 7 or 10 days. In such cases, your immune system takes around 3 to 4 days to develop the antibodies to fight these germs. But, if you keep on catching a cold repeatedly and it won't go away that easily, then it is a clear sign that your immune system is struggling hard to keep up.
Feeling Sluggish & Tired Always
Do you keep feeling tired, sleepy, and sluggish even after getting enough sleep and rest? Then, it might probably be a sign your immune system is giving you. If your immune system is weak, your energy levels will also go down. This is because your body might be conserving energy to help your immune system to fight the germs.
Getting Stressed Too Often
Getting stressed over matters that could be easily handled with a calm and composed mind can affect your immune system. As per the recent reports by the American Psychological Association, too much stress can result in a weakened immune system. Continuous stress can cause inflammation and reduce the lymphocytes or white blood cells in your body. This, in turn, makes your body susceptible to infections and tissue destruction.
Constantly Feeling Depressed
One of the major symptoms of a weak immune system is depression. It is not clear whether depression makes the immune system weak or whether a weak immune system makes the person depressed. But, there is surely a close connection between these two factors.
Issues With Digestive System
Your digestive system is your gateway to good health. If you keep getting frequent diarrhea, constipation, or gas, then slowly, your immune system will also start getting affected. Almost 70 percent of your immune system is located in your digestive tract. Good bacteria and microorganisms live in your digestive tract. It helps protect your body from infections and also offers support to your immune system. If the number of these microorganisms goes down, your body will be prone to viruses, infections, auto-immune disorders, and chronic inflammations.
Frequent Skin Rashes
Your skin is the body's first defense system against the entry of germs into your body. Hence, the appearance of your skin can be a reflection of your body's immune system. If you observe rashes, dry skin, or inflammations on your skin often, it might be a warning bell your immune system is trying to give you.
Wounds Heal Slowly
Any minor wound like small cuts, punctures, burns, or scrapes should normally heal within 5 days. In case your wounds are taking more than 5 days to heal completely, then it might be because your immune system is weak. A weak immune system will be unable to help your skin to regenerate fast.
Getting Infections Often
If you seem to get infections often, it might be a clear sign that your immune system is weak. It can be sinus infections, UTIs (Urinary Tract Infections), pneumonia, or even small infections on your wounds or scrapes. Fungal infections like yeast or thrush also are indicators of a weak immune system.
Hair Loss in Patches
Hair loss or alopecia areata often affects the scalp part of your head. It can cause one or more patches on your head. It is an auto-immune disorder that causes the overdrive of your immune system. It attacks your hair follicles and causes hair loss. Hence, if you tend to lose hair in patches, it might be because of a weak immune system.
If you experience muscle and joint aches often, it might be because you have a weak immune system. Whenever your body gets infected, it produces inflammation. Along with that, white blood cells named monocytes are also released to regulate the infection. If your immune system is strong enough, the process will be handled smoothly. But in case the infection is not dealt with promptly, the monocytes will get depleted and leave the muscles or joints swollen and in paining condition.
Ways to Strengthen Your Body's Immune System
With the COVID-19 rampaging all around the world, taking different forms one after the other, strong immunity is a necessity for all of us. Of course, getting vaccinated is the first step. But, what are the other things you can do? Here is the list:
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, your immunity is going to get affected really badly. Hence, ensure that you include exercises in your daily routine. Regular exercise can help improve cardiovascular health, control body weight, lower blood pressure, and offer protection against diseases. It further helps improve blood circulation and thus helps your immune cells to move easily through the body.
Eat Healthy, Stay Hydrated
Include plenty of vegetables and fruits in your diet. A balanced, plant-rich diet will help to improve the functioning of your immune system. Researches have time and again proven that Vitamin E, C, A, micronutrients, and beta-carotene present in fruits and vegetables can help in strengthening the immune system.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is a vital ingredient to building a healthy immune system. The CDC and American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) advise adults to sleep at least 7 to 9 hours at night. In case you are having less sleep, you can try sleep supplements, sleep therapy or even get the help of a sleep doctor.
Ensure that you do not get stressed often. Try to avoid stressful situations. You can also pray, meditate or just give some downtime to your brain. Stress can affect your immunity, reduce your appetite, sleep or even obstruct your daily routines.
Stay Clean, Stay Healthy
Personal hygiene has a crucial role to play when it comes to immunity. Ensure that you wash your hands regularly using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This will automatically reduce the number of germs that enter your body.
Avoid Drinking & Smoking
Alcohol can play havoc with your immune system and slow down your recovery from any form of infection. Similarly, smoking can cause lung diseases, respiratory issues, lung cancer, and pneumonia.
Manage Chronic Diseases
In case you have any chronic disease like high blood pressure, arthritis, chronic pain, COPD, asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or depression, ensure that you keep monitoring it. It should never be allowed to progress and reach a life-threatening level. Proper chronic disease management will help strengthen your immune system.
Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes, Boost Your Immune System
It's always better late than never. In case you are noticing any of the above symptoms, remember that there is still time to get it sorted. Start today and start building a better immune system. A few simple lifestyle changes can easily help you build a strong immune system. And, if you need any guidance, we are always here to assist you.